Alexandra Farms Garden Rose Contest Winners 2020!

Nicole Braghin

This has been such a challenging year for all of us, specially in our event industry, so it was extra special when the news came that WE WON!!!  Months ago we submitted a stunning bouquet and a vase arrangement to the Alexandra Farms Garden Rose Contest.  In prior years florists from all over the world would submit entries in different categories, such as vase arrangements, bouquets and large installations, and they would be judged by region.  This year, for the third edition of the contest, it was all in one, every submission would be judged in the same giant category and as one global region.  That makes it so much more meaningful for us to have won first place. Apart from the recognition we won a trip to Colombia to get to know the growers!

The rules were simple: create something gorgeous and make any variety of garden rose the star of the show.  We got so inspired and excited with this challenge, that we submitted two entries, an arrangement and a bridal bouquet.  For years we have established an amazing relationship with floral distributors , and one in particular knows exactly what makes my eyes sparkle.  I placed an order for an assortment of Alexandra Farms garden roses and when they arrived the fun began.  This particular vendor is special because she sells premium, special flowers by the bunch. I went to her cooler where she keeps the flowers already cut to hydrate, where hundreds of different varieties of stunning flowers made my heart happy, so many choices…  As with anything in life, you can’t have it all and choosing was almost painful because of all the beauty.


For the bouquet, the feeling I wanted to portray, was that of an effortless country side, freshly picked array of flowers.  That is why there is a touch of blue tweedia to make the Juliet and Keira garden roses pop, a peony to add lusciousness and fullness, poppies because they bring playfulness, and a bit of pink to make things dainty. All the flowers were picked to be the supporting cast for our amazing garden roses.  Creating anything with flowers is like making music, each note or flower must connect with the next and they must complement each other so there is a dance.  

Making music with flowers is my blessing, I love it and it makes my heart sing.  Our clients ask: “how do you know what to use and what goes with what?”  I guess some people think in numbers, others shapes, I think in colors and textures and for some reason I can envision the finished arrangement, installation or bouquet before I begin. It is my happy place, my stress reliever and the more we work the more inspired we get.

I truly believe that the flowers sense when you appreciate them.  They bloom bigger, they smell stronger.  I play classical music for the flowers to open with all of their beauty.  This award means so much to us because no matter how much darkness there is in the world, flowers will always inspire us to create beauty and bring joy…

Even though the bouquet was so beautiful, having the eye to capture it on film is a talent we do not have.  So we teamed up with photographer extraordinaire Jan Freire and he made magic!!!  Thanks Jan.

What is your favorite flower???

Nicole Braghin


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